Call for HOCUS Youth Group funding in Parliament
11 September 2017
A local youth group aimed at reconnecting disengaged young people in Benalla has been recognised in Parliament.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan last week praised the Waminda Community House HOCUS Youth Group and took the opportunity to call on the Andrews Labor Government to continue funding the program.
“In 2014 it was identified that approximately 200 of Benalla’s young people are not engaged in education or employment,” Ms Ryan said.
“I recently met with Mary-Lou Terry who is an organiser of the HOCUS Youth Group to learn more about what the program is doing to help reconnect these disengaged young people.
“Disappointingly, the program’s current funding is drawing to a close and I am urging the government to provide the funding required so it can continue.”
Ms Ryan said HOCUS was achieving life-changing results in the lives of its participants and it was critical that it be able to keep going.
“The group meets on a weekly basis, helping participating young people to build self-esteem and practice useful life skills,” Ms Ryan said.
“Young people participate in a number of activities including a range of sports and hobbies such as attending the local gym, dance classes, bowling, swimming and cooking.
“They volunteer by collecting donations for the Leukaemia Foundation at Winton Motor Raceway events and by helping with tree planting projects.
“HOCUS also offers useful guidance in resume and cover letter preparation and mock interviews.
“The Waminda Board are eager to see the program continue and I will continue to push for the government to make this possible.”
Ms Davis said HOCUS was filling an important gap within Benalla that was sadly lacking for the town’s teenagers.
“We want to continue giving the kids in this town an opportunity to challenge themselves and to grow and HOCUS is doing this,” Ms Davis said.
“It’s about connection, engagement, interaction and about equipping our young people with skills.”